We welcome your questions!
Everyone occasionally has questions, and if you are investigating a new business you should definitely ask them! Below are a few of the questions we get asked on a regular basis.
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Scroll through some questions and answers:
There are literally thousands of judgment holders in every community. Information about their judgments and their contact information is on file at your local court house. These case files are public record. Many court houses are now even making case file information accessible free of charge online.
You will send the judgment holder a specially designed, personalized letter offering your help with the enforcement of the judgment with no out of pocket cost to them. Since people continue to sue each other in ever-increasing numbers, your customers will always be plentiful.
I have also included templates for these letters in the training materials that you can use to send your marketing message to both individual judgment holders as well as businesses. Many businesses are awarded judgments on a regular basis and will have several judgments to assign to you. These are a terrific resource for ongoing business!
I want say right up front that a judgment recovery business is definitely NOT a get-rich-quick venture. Your income will directly reflect the amount of time and effort you devote to your new business.
You should be able to earn some income in as little as 2 1/2 to 3 months, but it takes at least this much time to get the ball rolling. You'll have to contact judgment holders, obtain signatures on assignments and file them with the court, locate the judgment debtors and their assets and initiate the court procedures to enforce the judgments.
$8,000 a month is the average income one person earns operating full time, while some who are more aggressive are earning upwards of $10,000 a month and higher. This figure is taken from others who are operating their judgment recovery businesses successfully. Most people can earn at least $2,500 a month on a part time basis if they are willing to dedicate 10 to 15 hours a week.
Sierra Judgment Recovery is heavily involved in the growth and development of the judgment recovery industry as a whole. We've been providing high quality, professional judgment recovery training since 1997. Additionally, Christina Smiley is a founding member of the California Association of Judgment Professionals and held the position of Continuing Education Director for several years. She's also a founding member of several other associations across the nation. What this offers you is experience in dealing with a company that is doing more than merely providing information... We also enforce judgments!
Our training materials are extremely detailed and comprehensive and have been recently updated. A constant effort is made to ensure that all of our members are aware of any new or recent industry changes that may have a direct affect on their business. For this purpose, we maintain a Member Update page, where critical information of this nature is provided to our members.
Certainly other training programs have been springing up like mushrooms, and many of them have modeled our marketing program so they seem similar - but in fact we have been in the business of judgment enforcement and primary training providers much longer.
There's just no substitute for the real thing.
Most of the procedures you'll be using to seize assets will be accomplished by simply filling out the appropriate court forms and filing them with the court.
The only common procedure that requires you to actually appear in court is an elective one called a post-judgment debtor examination. You can use it if you want to (it's a fantastic tool for gathering information) but it's not a required procedure.
In this procedure, you'd legally compel the judgment debtor to appear before you in court - the judge is there only as an observer and to ensure the debtor answers your questions. After the debtor is sworn in and under oath he or she will have to answer your questions about finances and assets, as well as provide you with any documents you require, like bank statements, paycheck stubs, deed, etc.
In all our years of judgment recovery experience, we have never been threatened by a judgment debtor. The only time we're usually even contacted by a debtor is when we've initiated that contact.
As a precaution we always encourage members to use a business name and a post office box for all correspondence. This is just common sense and will protect your anonymity while maintaining a professional image.
Typically, unless you decide to, you'll have little or no debtor contact at all. You'll be using a fictitious business name (ie: "Statewide Judgment Recovery" - or whatever you decide to name your business) and a post office box. Your business name will appear on court forms, but any action that you initiate through the court will actually be carried out through the county sheriff, who acts on your behalf as the levying officer. The county sheriff will do all the actual seizing of the assets.
It is unlikely that you will find an over-abundance of competition. But to check for the possibility, look in your local yellow pages under "Collection Agencies" and check for potential competitors.
Keep in mind that traditional collection agencies are not considered to be in direct competition with a judgment recovery business. Collection agencies tend to focus on pre-judgment debt. They do this by sending collection letters and making annoying phone calls to the debtor. The only judgments that collection agencies usually collect (if any at all) are those that have been awarded to their existing clients.
Your competition, should you find any, will be other judgment recovery companies.
Certainly not! There is no difference in the methods used to collect a Small Claims judgment versus a larger one that's been awarded in a higher branch of court.
Many people who have larger judgments will contact you after they learn what it is that you do, including businesses. We also include a special solicitation letter to send directly to businesses to offer your services.
In fact, we have several members who have been contacted by companies to collect very large judgment awards in the six figure range. This is not in any way uncommon.
Where do I find judgment holders, and how do I get them to let me collect their judgments?
How much income can I expect to earn with a judgment recovery business?
How is your Member Association and training better, and yet it costs less than other programs I have seen?
Will I ever have to appear in court?
Will I ever be threatened by a judgment debtor?
How do I check to see if there is any competition in my area?
Am I limited to only collecting judgments that have been awarded in Small Claims Court?
There are many ways to locate the assets of judgment debtors and we cover them all. We will teach you how to find property, employers, bank accounts and other judgment debtor assets using the information available in public records and online databases, but some of the most valuable asset location available to you will come from private information resources, such as consumer credit reports.
These private information sources will reveal a wealth of information about your debtor and his/her assets. Once you've been assigned a judgment you will then be the legal judgment creditor and the owner of the judgment. You will have the legal right to obtain consumer credit history and other critical financial information about your debtors.
If you don't have time to do your own asset location, you can outsource the work to our asset research division and we can find them for you.
Many people will initially start their judgment recovery businesses part time. They also find that after six months or so that the income their new business is generating is more than enough to justify giving up any existing job and going with it full time. Still, we understand that it can be difficult to get a new business off the ground while still working another job.
To save time, some SJR members will use ads that are included in the program in conjunction with marketing to businesses with multiple judgments to assign and other more traditional marketing methods.
A new business does require time and effort to see results, so you'll need to reserve an hour or two a week for researching civil case files to locate judgment holders. Thankfully, many areas now make this information accessible online. The training materials include an Online Access Guide, so if access is available in your area of interest, you'll have a direct link to that website.
While there is definitely a "learning curve" for this (or any) new business, the actual time it takes to get up to speed really depends on you as an individual, and how much time you have to devote to studying.
Typically, the average person is ready to at least get started in one to two weeks, though it does take a little longer to become absolutely proficient. Once you've been through and completed any particular procedure through the court system, it tends to become routine very quickly.
The "real" work is in locating the judgment debtors and their assets, which makes any fondness for research a definite advantage in the judgment recovery field.
When a judgment is legally assigned to another person, all right, title and interest in the judgment is transferred to the assignee and those same rights are revoked from the original judgment holder. This makes you, the assignee, the legal judgment creditor and owner of the judgment.
By law this allows you to enforce the judgment on your own behalf. This is clearly dictated by civil code in all 50 states.
There are never any additional membership fees or other costs paid to our company other than the initial fee of $155 when you join the membership. The initial fee includes everything - even your training and ongoing customer support.
We do not want any percentage of any income you earn from your business. We do not want any monthly or annual dues or fees.
We are not like other companies you may have seen, who initially sell you information only to tell you later on that you'll need to pay more money to get the 'important bits' that were left out. Some of these companies are even charging thousands of dollars for support - or "coaching" - and if you don't pay it, you're on your own.
Fortunately that's just not the way we operate.
We do not have any bad feelings or reservations about the nature of the service we are providing. The money that we are recovering was ordered by the court for the judgment debtor to pay - usually for a good reason.
The perspective that you should focus on is that you are providing a much-needed service to those who have not been able to collect the money owed to them. The judgment holder has gone through the pain and expense of taking the debtor to court. The court has decided that they were entitled to the money, and the debtor was ordered to pay. Yet the debtor doesn't pay... Is that fair? It's the judgment holder who is the 'victim' - not the debtor.
Some cases will involve collecting from financially incapable debtors, but in those cases you can always offer an alternative and allow them to make a monthly payment that they can reasonably afford.
How will I find the judgment debtors and their assets?
Can this business be operated on a part time basis?
What is the learning curve like for the average person?
How will I have the legal right to enforce these judgments when they were not awarded to me?
After joining SJR and paying my one-time fee, are there any additional fees to pay?
Do you ever feel bad about garnishing wages or seizing a judgment debtor's assets?
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday; 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern time. We are closed for all major holidays.
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Post Office Box 5040
Saint Marys, GA 31558